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Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cat & Mouse

 
Work on visual discrimination, manual dexterity, spatial relations, following directions, social interaction, play exploration and participation
 
In the box: Round game board with cheese, 17 small pieces of cheese, 3 ladders, 4 mice in different colors, 1 Max the cat, 1 die
Ages 5+, 2 players
 
A simple board-type cat and mouse game with a lot of kid-appeal. The object of the game is to be the first person to collect five pieces of cheese. To start, set the game board with the large piece of cheese in the middle of the players. Each player takes a mouse and places it in one of the rounded grooves on the top of the cheese. Players then take turns dropping their mice into the hole at the top of the cheese. There are slides inside the cheese that end up on different squares on the board. Where ever each mouse lands is the square that player will start the game. Taking turns, throw the die and advance that many spaces clockwise on the board. A picture on that space will tell you what to do, no reading required. Here are the options:
  • Take one piece of cheese from the cheese bank.
  • Take two pieces of cheese from the cheese bank.
  • Give one piece of cheese back to the cheese bank.
  • Move Max the cat to any square of your choice. If another player has a mouse on that square, he must give a piece of cheese back to the bank.
  • Climb the ladder to the top of the cheese. Drop your mouse through the hole. When your mouse has landed on a square, follow those instructions.
Try this:
  • Set up the cheese bank before the game by lining up all the pieces in a row in the same direction. Put a piece of the cheese in the player's palm and ask him to bring it to his fingertips and turn to orient before adding to the row.
  • Set up the cheese bank before the game by lining up all the pieces in a row in the same direction. Put 2 pieces of the cheese in the player's palm and ask him to bring them, one at a time, to his fingertips and turn to orient before placing on the table. 
  • Put the game away by picking up the pieces of cheese, one at a time, in one hand and squirreling each piece in the palm before picking up another. How many pieces can be held without dropping?
  • Put the game away quickly by holding the box under the edge of the table and, with a curved hand vertical to the tabletop, collect and push the pieces off the table into the box. Aim and move carefully so none hit the floor.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

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